The Wider World

Court: payment to athletes OK

UNITED STATES Supreme Court building (Flickr/Geoff Livingston).

In a decision that could open the way for college athletes to receive some pay, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletic Association can’t block payments to student-athletes.

The unanimous ruling concerned only payment and other benefits bearing a relationship to the student’s education, but might have a wider application in practice, according to The New York Times.

“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers at a fair market rate,” wrote Justice Brett Cavanaugh.

The NCAA, in a statement, chose to represent the ruling as a victory. The ruling “affirms the NCAA’s authority to adopt reasonable rules.”

In six states, new laws will allow student athletes to be paid for endorsing products and services, a change, which could ultimately affect the status of the term “amateur.” Those laws will go into effect on July 1 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

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